The actual name of the recipe is Cauliflower Cheese Soup, but I decided to be a bit of a free-wheelin' rhymer today.
A couple of girlfriends from work were raving about this Cauliflower Cheese Soup last month, and I asked for the recipe.
It was my friend Ashley's mom from whom the recipe originated, so I texted Ashley to tell her that her mom was going to get props on my blog. She replied that the recipe was actually from the 'Soups & Sandwiches' Company's Coming (for those non-Canadians out there, this is a long-running Canadian cookbook series). After she said this, I remembered that I inherited a dozen or so of these cookbooks from my granny after she developed dementia and had to stop cooking. I went to my bookshelf, and there it was, with the Eaton's (another Canadian original, founded in 1869 and defunct in 1999...so sad) price tag sticker still on the front, and the date 1987 inside. I flipped through the pages until I found the Cauliflower Cheese Soup recipe, on a very worn page. My granny was big on writing in her cookbooks so that she could remember what she liked and didn't like, and there on Page 24 I found some notes in her familiar handwriting.
And then: "So Good"
Then: "Good - March / 04"
And the final note: "Good company lunch soup. Makes about 8 cups (or a little more)"
Wow, that made me smile. And also cry a little bit (and again right now). It's funny how something totally out of the blue can stop you in your tracks in your day and take you right back to your childhood, just like that. I remember eating this soup as a kid, and just loving my granny and her cooking so much. I'm so glad that I stumbled across this recipe by chance. When my granny passed away recently, I inherited all of her old recipe binders and first made her 'famous' sweet and sour meatballs recipe (with her handwriting all over it). This will make an appearance on the blog soon, with a gluten-free twist. I often think that moments like these are the reason why I started this blog, yes as a way to keep track of all of my recipes for myself and with others, but secretly also so that my future children and grandchildren have a record of all of my favourite recipes, and those of my mom and granny. (No, I'm not pregnant mom and Dori!).
This soup is really good. My granny thought so, and she was always right when it came to matters of comfort food. I hope you think so too!
Easy-Peasy Cauliflower Cheesy Soup
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped onion
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) all-purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour)
- 1/2 tsp. (2 mL) salt
- 1/2 tsp. (2 mL) pepper
- 2 cups (500 mL) milk (I used 1%, but any milk would work)
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) grated medium cheddar cheese
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
In a large pot, cook cauliflower in chicken stock until tender. Do not drain. Cool a bit. Using a potato masher or hand blender, mash or blend until desired texture is reached (I left lots of chunks, but pureeing would also be nice). Set aside.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until limp. Do not brown. Mix in flour, salt, and pepper. Add milk. Heat, and whisk or stir until the mixture boils and thickens.
Pour milk mixture into cauliflower mixture, and add the cheese. Return the large pot to medium heat. Stir to heat and melt cheese. Add parsley as an ingredient, or as a garnish.
Cream of Cauliflower Soup: Omit cheese
Cauliflower Soup: Use water instead of milk
Adapted From: Company's Coming 'Soups & Sandwiches,' by Jean Pare (and my granny, and Ashley's mom)
Hearty Minestrone Soup (the pictures don't do it justice!)